Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Note on the Productivity that Comes With Paper Writing

It's that time of semester again. Big honking papers coming due soon, and there's research to do, baby ideas to nurture into grown-up ideas. There are also job applications at local high schools to fill out for the next academic year. (There's been a rumor of giant cuts to the English department AGAIN, and I have no intention of spending the summer wondering if I'll be able to pay my bills when classes start. Especially since I know from experience that the department only gives out employment information after it's very late to look for another job.)

So, in the face of all this necessary work, I have been remarkably productive.
I have:
1) Gone shopping for six weeks' worth of food. (This is very easy to do for single people. Just shop for a family of six, then divide the food into single servings.) I've labeled that food, and placed it in the freezer in a healthy-rotation order so that it doesn't all come tumbling down when I dig through the chicken to get to the fish.
2) Scrubbed every tile in my bathroom.
3) Moved the appliances in the kitchen to mop underneath.
4) Rearranged bookshelves in the livingroom.
5) Straightened up my guest-room/office.
6) Planted bulbs.
7) Given myself a paraffin pedicure.

BUT, I have not:
1) Read most of the secondary research I've gathered.
2) Written my abstracts for professorial approval ( I do have verbal approval).
3) Checked my Latin so that I'm sure I'm arguing what I'm arguing.
4) Done my taxes.
5) Sent in those applications.

In short, my apartment has never been cleaner, or cheerier, and my toes have never been more supple. Impending papers apparently make me a suburban housewife. Sadly, they do not appear to make me a scholar, citizen, or employee.


Martin said...

I hope you buy some fresh veggies from time to time.

HeoCwaeth said...

LOL. I knew someone would wonder about that. Yes, I do a sprint around the periphery of the supermarket about once a week for produce, dairy, and bread. For some reason, though, that seems like so much less of a hassle than actual, responsible shopping. God, I hate shopping!

medieval woman said...

Me too! Grocery shopping that is...wandering around Target is another thing...

I love that you scour your apartment, your toes, and plant bulbs before beginning your research! How can anyone work without your toes being done? My toes have been funky metallic blue for at least 5 years and I can't do a single thing if they're chipped.

Good luck on researching and checking the Latin!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I so know this work mode!

Ancrene Wiseass said...

Oh, yes. Yes. I do understand this.

Boy Roomie was really disturbed two weekends ago when I was deep in the throes of eleventh-hour prospectus writing, but kept getting up to clean the sinks.

I think it's a kind of ritual: when you do it toward the beginning of the process, it's about taking care of stuff like that so you can really dig in and not think about it for a while. When you do it in the middle of the process, it's a way of taking a mental break without losing the momentum of productivity entirely. I also think that getting into writing mode makes me much more critical and detail-oriented. Therefore, I notice dirty and messy things much more.

Of course, one shouldn't underestimate the procrastination factor . . . .

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